Do you all remember that girl at LMU that threw her baby away?

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Kentucky

Middlesboro, KY

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#1
Nov 12, 2008
 
She has had 2 babies that she is either threw in a dumpster or kept in a closet dead, what is wrong with her?

Do you know her?

TAZEWELL, Tenn.--''This morning I gave birth to a baby boy.''
That was how Courtney Jo Dukes began her neatly handwritten confession to police Jan. 16, 1996.
Just hours before, at 5:30 a.m., the Lincoln Memorial University freshman had delivered a full-term baby in her dorm bathroom.
''I didn't know what was happening. I just started bleeding and it just came and it wasn't doing anything.... The baby fell in the toilet, then I picked it up to feel its heart. There wasn't a heartbeat and it wasn't crying.''
No one knew the pretty, smart and friendly 19-year-old volleyball star from tiny Osceola, Mo., was even pregnant. They didn't know until the newborn was found dead in a trash bin near the campus two hours later.
Dukes pleaded guilty to reckless homicide and received probation. The whole tragic episode was put in the past -- until earlier this year, when another dead baby was found in Dukes' mobile home in Chesapeake, Va.
Her infant sons now lie in side-by-side graves in a hillside cemetery overlooking the Cumberland Mountains along Tennessee's northern border with Kentucky and Virginia.
Sheriff's deputies who served as pallbearers at the donated funerals named the boys after angels -- Gabriel and Michael.
Dukes, a slim, 5-foot-4, green-eyed blonde, became a lightning rod for sympathy and hate. Some saw her as a sweet girl next door, confused and scared; to others, she was a demon.
''Yes, she is truly an enigma,'' said her public defender, Martha Yoakum.
No charges have been filed in the second baby's death, which remains under investigation.
That infant was found Feb. 21 in Dukes' closet, sealed in a plastic bag. Delivered about five weeks earlier, the boy's body was too decomposed for authorities to determine if he had been born alive.
Yoakum said Dukes' taped interview with Chesapeake police was hauntingly familiar.
''She never denied it was her baby. She did not deny putting it in the closet,'' Yoakum said.''But she always said it was stillborn. That it never moved. It never cried. It never showed any signs of life.''
Aaron Stephens, a 36-year-old delivery man from Virginia Beach, Va., is the child's father. He says he dated Dukes for only a few months and did not know about her Tennessee past.
Neither he nor any of Dukes' friends in Virginia knew she was pregnant, he said. When he saw a television report about the baby's discovery, he came forward, and he attended the child's funeral.
Of Dukes, he said,''Obviously, something is wrong with her. She needs help.''
Dr. Kathleen Broughan, a Knoxville psychologist who spent more than 20 hours examining Dukes, testified at a 1996 hearing that Dukes hid her earlier pregnancy and showed extreme denial, repression and fear of abandonment.
''I call it the circuit-breaker theory,'' Broughan said, according to transcripts.''If the circuit gets overloaded, for whatever reason, instead of burning down the house, the circuit breaker clicks and knocks out the power.''
But Kelley Anders, a former Claiborne County chief deputy who arrested Dukes at her dorm in 1996, had a different perspective
Kentucky

Middlesboro, KY

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#2
Nov 12, 2008
 
''Courtney?'' he said.''She is evil.''
Anders, now a private investigator, is convinced Dukes knew what she was doing.
She wore loose clothes to hide her belly and marked a calendar every month she missed her menstrual cycle, Anders said.
''She made it clear in her writings that nothing was going to interfere with her becoming a volleyball super champ,'' he said.''She played volleyball up until she had the baby.''
When Dukes' first baby was found, he was still warm and rolled up in Dukes' green sweat shirt.
''I thought it was a big doll,'' said Edward McMurray, who discovered the baby while searching for aluminum cans.
Pathologist Dr. Cleland Blake ruled after an autopsy the baby boy was born alive but likely bled to death after his umbilical cord was torn.
Dukes said she drove her truck to a Shell station and put the baby in the trash bin.
''I intended to tell my mom I was pregnant and get her to contact an adoption agency,'' Dukes said.''I did not want the baby.''
Dukes had a cool demeanor in court. Critics called her a heartless ''ice queen.'' Defenders said those people didn't see her trembling hands.
Accepting her guilty plea, Circuit Judge Lee Asbury sentenced Dukes to four years in prison, but suspended it and placed her on six years' probation. He was swayed by more than two dozen letters commending Dukes' character as a Girl Scout, honor student, Christian, lifeguard and committed athlete who had never been in trouble.
''Courtney deserves a chance to prove to herself, society and her family that she has just made a mistake in judgment and still has a lot to offer as a human being,'' family friends Michael and Diane Loy of Pittsburg, Kan., wrote in one typical letter.
The letters also mentioned Dukes' close relationship with her mother, Debbie Dukes, a divorcee who raised Courtney as a single mom on a modest court recorder's salary. She moved Courtney to a larger high school for her senior year so she could catch the attention of colleges, which led to a volleyball scholarship to LMU.
Many letter writers were certain Dukes regretted the death of the baby.
''I asked Courtney, just days after ... if she would act in a similar way if given a second chance,'' wrote Wesley Clow, a boyfriend from Missouri who fathered the child.
''She looked straight at me, her voice became firm, and she answered calm and collected,'No.' Then she wept. With that one single syllable, she has never been more sincere.''
Once on probation, Dukes went home to Missouri, began therapy and enrolled in college. She attended Central Missouri State University, majoring in psychology, until December 1998.
At some point, with the consent of her therapist, she quit counseling and in 2000 moved to Pensacola, Fla., to be with her fiance, who was in the military. She followed him to Virginia when he transferred there, then they broke up.
Dukes was working as a billing clerk for the company that managed her mobile home park when the second baby was born.
''I don't think it would have happened again if she'd had the psychological counseling that she needed,'' Yoakum said.
Kentucky

Middlesboro, KY

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#3
Nov 12, 2008
 
But sympathy for Dukes was gone by 2002. Dukes, 25, was sent in May to the Tennessee Prison for Women in Nashville, to serve a four-year sentence for violating probation by using alcohol, going to bars and ''improperly disposing of a baby's body.''
''To me it didn't seem like we really got her attention,'' District Attorney General Paul Phillips said.''I thought she was cold about it and that mercy should be tempered with a little justice.''
Dukes declined an interview with The Associated Press. So did her mother.
The Rev. Marilyn Sanders, a pastor who counseled Dukes after her 1996 arrest and wrote one of those letters of support, said she believed Dukes was remorseful until the morning she went to court in the death of the first newborn.
They were in the public defender's office. Dukes took a phone call from a friend wishing her well, but Dukes quickly changed the subject to the Jeep she hoped her mom would buy her when she got home.
''That's when my heart just froze,'' said Sanders, who now lives in Spartanburg, S.C.''She was totally oblivious to what was going on around her.''
''She didn't get it. That this was a life. To her this was just something that was in her way.''
Published in the Athens Banner-Herald on Sunday, October 13, 2002.
Kentucky

Middlesboro, KY

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#4
Nov 12, 2008
 
Meeeeeeeeee

Manchester, TN

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#5
Jan 11, 2009
 
I'm surprised this didn't get any responses. I was literally shocked and sick to my stomach when I read about this...a SECOND baby died at her hands? I know she said the second baby was stillborn but there is no proof of that because of decomposition. Based on her previous act, I would think the courts would assume the baby was NOT stillborn...

Based on the dates, Courtney Jo is probably out of jail by now. There is no excuse for this...two lives lost and she gets 4 years?
Loving me some Crazy

Hershey, PA

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#6
Jan 11, 2009
 
Wow this is troubling.
yoo hoo

Middlesboro, KY

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#7
Jan 11, 2009
 
I remember when this happened and I couldn't believe it when she didn't do any jail time. It seems as though the courts don't put much value on the life of a baby or even small children. This isn't the first case that someone has literally gotten away with murder. The death of a second baby should have gotten her a life sentence and court ordered tubal ligation. This girl was mentally sick and evil.
Meeeeeeeeee

Manchester, TN

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#8
Jan 11, 2009
 
yoo hoo wrote:
I remember when this happened and I couldn't believe it when she didn't do any jail time. It seems as though the courts don't put much value on the life of a baby or even small children. This isn't the first case that someone has literally gotten away with murder. The death of a second baby should have gotten her a life sentence and court ordered tubal ligation. This girl was mentally sick and evil.
I totally agree. The sentence was SO short it's ridiculous. And having her tubes tied should have been a definite consequence here.
SICK

United States

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#9
Jan 11, 2009
 
I don't understand y God let's these ppl have these innocent babies. Someone like me and my husband r dying for a Sweet Little Miracle and can not have one for whatever reason. It breaks my heart to know that someone would do this, not just once, but twice, to something so small and Innocent! I just don't understand. Y give a person such a Miracle and them not want it or take care of it, and yet won't let someone like me and my husband that has a Heart full of LOVE to give one, have one! You're not suppose to question God, but I really DO NOT understand y thinks happen the way they do sometimes.
Unknown User

Kansas City, KS

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#10
Jul 8, 2010
 
Well, I played volleyball against this girl in HS. She was talented, but I never liked her. She wasn't sweet and innocent like people said. She was vindictive and wanted what she wanted and didn't care who she hurt to get it. I also was at school at CMSU at the same time she was. She didn't change. Still as selfish as always. That cop got it right when he said she was evil.

God is the one that will judge her. He is the one that sees her heart. Even though I STILL feel this way, I have to let go and let God!
LMU Floormate

Knoxville, TN

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#11
Oct 7, 2010
 
When she had the baby I was living on the same floor as she was. That day still haunts me and I still have nightmares about it. It was a community bathroom that everyone on the floor shared and after that happend I couldn't even go back to that bathroom. I remember most the floor meeting that the police called and required everyone to be there. I don't remember what was said before or after the meeting but I remember the police pulling the hunter green North Carolina sweetshirt out of the box and it obviously being drenched in blood and then the police telling us that the baby had pretty much bled to death while wrapped in that very shirt. Then they asked if any of us knew who the shirt belonged too and you colud look at the face of every girl on that floor as they came to the realization who the shirt belonged to and they one by one started raising their hands and saying I think I know who it belongs to. After several girls said they knew then just as cool and collected as could be Courtney stood up from where seh was sitting on the floor and said that she thought that seh knew who it belonged to. I really don't think that she would have ever confessed if the other girls on the floor hadn't recognized the shirt. Then I remeber the funeral it was so sad that little blue casket and the babies father sitting on the front row crying. I felt so bad for him. Then comes the second baby. I walked into work and my co-worker looks at me and asks me if the name Courtney Jo Dukes rings a bell. Apparently all of the blood drained from my face becasuse he grabbed a chair quickly and put it under me before I hit the groundand all I could say was please don't tell me she did it again and he then showed me the newspaper article. I hope that she got the help that she needed in prison.
curious

Corbin, KY

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#12
Oct 8, 2010
 
LMU Floormate wrote:
When she had the baby I was living on the same floor as she was. That day still haunts me and I still have nightmares about it. It was a community bathroom that everyone on the floor shared and after that happend I couldn't even go back to that bathroom. I remember most the floor meeting that the police called and required everyone to be there. I don't remember what was said before or after the meeting but I remember the police pulling the hunter green North Carolina sweetshirt out of the box and it obviously being drenched in blood and then the police telling us that the baby had pretty much bled to death while wrapped in that very shirt. Then they asked if any of us knew who the shirt belonged too and you colud look at the face of every girl on that floor as they came to the realization who the shirt belonged to and they one by one started raising their hands and saying I think I know who it belongs to. After several girls said they knew then just as cool and collected as could be Courtney stood up from where seh was sitting on the floor and said that she thought that seh knew who it belonged to. I really don't think that she would have ever confessed if the other girls on the floor hadn't recognized the shirt. Then I remeber the funeral it was so sad that little blue casket and the babies father sitting on the front row crying. I felt so bad for him. Then comes the second baby. I walked into work and my co-worker looks at me and asks me if the name Courtney Jo Dukes rings a bell. Apparently all of the blood drained from my face becasuse he grabbed a chair quickly and put it under me before I hit the groundand all I could say was please don't tell me she did it again and he then showed me the newspaper article. I hope that she got the help that she needed in prison.
I wonder how much time she got.
LMU Floormate

Knoxville, TN

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#13
Oct 8, 2010
 
I've wondered the same thing myself. I've heard that she got a total of 4 years in prison for breaking the rules of her probation but I'm not 100% sure. I'm sure that whatever she got it wasn't long enouhg to make sure that she was truely rehabilitated.
THINKING BACK

United States

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#14
Oct 8, 2010
 
I remember this well, a nurse that I worked with her uncle was looking for cans and found the baby. I also remember that she moved in with Tammy Clemens, Martha Yoakums right hand at the time. Anyway if they found another baby in Feb. then this is 3, it's been a couple of years ago that she did this again and yes it was in Va. and she DID have charges pending on that one. There was a big write up in the daily News about it/her.
This girl needs to be neutered, it is obvious that she has no maternal instincts and I would say no soul.
I'm pretty sure that if she had another one in Feb. that this is 3.
just saying

Corbin, KY

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#15
Oct 9, 2010
 
LMU Floormate wrote:
I've wondered the same thing myself. I've heard that she got a total of 4 years in prison for breaking the rules of her probation but I'm not 100% sure. I'm sure that whatever she got it wasn't long enouhg to make sure that she was truely rehabilitated.
four yrs.ainet nothing.I wonder if she ever thinks about what she done to her own kids?
LMU Floormate

Knoxville, TN

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#16
Oct 9, 2010
 

Judged:

1

surely to goodness there wasn't 3! If so hopefully they will do more than just a few years in prison. She needs to have her tubes tide and spend a lot more time in prison.
LMU Floormate

United States

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#17
Jan 16, 2011
 

Judged:

1

1

Today the first baby know as baby Gabrielle would have been 14. I wonder if she thinks about this every year. I know that not a year goes by that I don't.
WORKIN WOMAN

Tazewell, TN

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#18
Jan 18, 2011
 
evil witch
KJB

Kansas City, MO

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#19
Jul 6, 2011
 
LMU Floormate wrote:
Today the first baby know as baby Gabrielle would have been 14. I wonder if she thinks about this every year. I know that not a year goes by that I don't.
LMU Floormate - I am looking for people that knew Courtney and would you be willing to speak with me about the details of this case? If you did and are willing, please contact me privately at 401Washington@gmail.com

Thank you
Anonymous

Raleigh, NC

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#20
Dec 1, 2011
 
I was the friend in Virginia who gave her a job. I also pleaded with the owner to let her live in the model home. She was dating a guy from Budweiser who was married. Aaron Stephens was used as a coverup because the bud guy was married, 3 kids, and MANGEMENT!!!! She originally told us friends while in jail it was a Tides Baseball player's kid. Then it was a deliver guy, but we all knew better. I can tell you that she was drinking the whole pregnancy, we did not know she was pregnant. She went to Nascar races with us as well. I left our employer about 4 months before this happened, but I can tell you, she was ALWAYS manipulative, and used her looks to get what she wanted. I know that Virginia never prosecuted because they could not prove HOW the baby died for it to be murder.

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